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Should we go? How risky and dangerous is it? #65365
08/21/2015 10:31 AM
08/21/2015 10:31 AM
Joined: Aug 2015
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GPM Offline OP
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We are supposed to leave tomorrow to start our 1 week vacation in St. Martin. We are staying in a villa up a hill in Terres Basses. I look at the "models" and see path and intensity projections and think it won't be too severe. But what I don't know is how devastating this size/category of hurricane will be on St. Martin or it's infrastructure.

We bought the wrong type of insurance to just back out. They'll pay for trip interruption or extra money if we need to make travel changes due to hurricane, but they won't reimburse us if we decide to back out because a hurricane is headed that way.No amount of money is worth making a decision that is too risky.

Do any locals or past visitors have a perspective on the risk to staying in St. Martin the next week (Aug 22-29)? Anyone else going? What is the general feeling on the island regarding the danger of this hurricane? Is the area we are staying in any more or less susceptible to danger during or after Danny pays a visit?

SXM Sponsors
Re: Should we go? How risky and dangerous is it? [Re: GPM] #65366
08/21/2015 10:47 AM
08/21/2015 10:47 AM
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Eric_Hill Offline

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Even though it is currently a Cat 2 hurricane, all forecast so far are calling for it to lose strenght and only be a tropical storm by 8am Monday. That is when it will be closest to SXM. You will probably get some heavy rains and some wind. Tropical storm winds are in the 39 to 73 mph range.

By Tuesday 8am it is tracked to be over PR.

So the worst weather you would experience would probably been late Sunday night and Monday morning.


Eric Hill
TTOL Sponsors
Re: Should we go? How risky and dangerous is it? [Re: GPM] #65367
08/21/2015 10:49 AM
08/21/2015 10:49 AM
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Carol_Hill Offline
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I honestly don't think anyone can really answer that question for you, as to whether you should go. As far as this particular storm, it appears it will weaken considerably before it reaches the islands and this is a VERY small storm, in terms of size, so that unless you are in the very heart of the storm, it will be a somewhat non-event. BUT! there is not a really good way to know that, by tomorrow.


Have you checked with your AIRLINE to see if they would allow you to cancel and re-book without penalty? Sometimes they will. The same is true of your villa rental. It's possible they would let you re-book without any penalty and if that would make you feel better, definitely do that.

Have you checked with the owner or property manager to see if there is a generator in the villa? Having suffered through the aftereffects of a hurricane here in Florida, when there was no electric (for a/c or even a FAN!) and it was 95 degrees and very high humidity, I can't imagine being without electric in that situation. So, do some checking about your options and make your decision.


Carol Hill
Re: Should we go? How risky and dangerous is it? [Re: GPM] #65368
08/21/2015 11:24 AM
08/21/2015 11:24 AM
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Posts: 12,958
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
islandgem Offline
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Carol has given you a very good answer. I notice this is your first post to this board. If it is also your first visit to St. Maarten, I would definitely be very cautious as heavy rains could make your visit unenjoyable and sometimes difficult to get around the island since water drainage is often a problem there.




Re: Should we go? How risky and dangerous is it? [Re: islandgem] #65369
08/21/2015 12:58 PM
08/21/2015 12:58 PM
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VIRGINIA
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BEERMAN Offline
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Over the years we have had a few Tropical Storms pass by while we were in the islands. Once on St John a hurricane passed and we were on the outer bands and just 5 years ago a TS kept us on the docks in Tortola for 2 days. All in all it was just a tad bit windy, rainy and rougher seas. Spent that day or two in the bar <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif" alt="" /> The good side is that perfectly clear weather followed!

Re: Should we go? How risky and dangerous is it? [Re: GPM] #65370
08/21/2015 01:33 PM
08/21/2015 01:33 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 5,870
New England (home), St. Maarte...
jmbcomms Offline
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New England (home), St. Maarte...
We've been there through a few. We'd go. Storm is entering an area where it could be torn apart by upper winds; it is still hundreds of miles away; it is also very small. Odds favor lots of rain but I'd bet not much in the way of destructive winds.


Jeff Berger
Visiting SXM Since 1978
Re: Should we go? How risky and dangerous is it? [Re: Eric_Hill] #65371
08/21/2015 01:35 PM
08/21/2015 01:35 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 5,870
New England (home), St. Maarte...
jmbcomms Offline
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New England (home), St. Maarte...
Cat 3 now, but it's about to hit strong upper winds that will affect it a lot.


Jeff Berger
Visiting SXM Since 1978
Re: Should we go? How risky and dangerous is it? [Re: jmbcomms] #65372
08/21/2015 02:25 PM
08/21/2015 02:25 PM
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irina Offline
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I agree with Carol. Check with your airline. We changed FF tickets with no fee on AA one year because even though it was a small storm, trees were still knocked down and restaurants were closed etc so we left island early.
We had lived on island and were aware of what would happen.
People have to take care of their own property also.
good luck
irina

Re: Should we go? How risky and dangerous is it? [Re: GPM] #65373
08/21/2015 02:35 PM
08/21/2015 02:35 PM
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SXMWendell Offline
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I have been in a hurricane in SXM. It is no fun. If it knocks out the power it can take several days to get the power back. This means restaurants and markets are closed, gas stations can't pump gas, the villa I stayed at didn't have water because no electricity to run the water pump, no AC, no television or radio to see weather reports ( like , is the storm over? is the storm coming back?). It took 4 days to get rebooked on a plane to leave ( since it came on the morning we were leaving).

video of hurricane in SXM

OB post hurricane Bertha



SXM??? Wendell

Last edited by SXMWendell; 08/21/2015 02:54 PM.
Re: Should we go? How risky and dangerous is it? [Re: irina] #65374
08/21/2015 02:36 PM
08/21/2015 02:36 PM
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Irina--As I guess maybe you know, IF there are FF seats available, you can always change FF tickets on AA with no fee (as of now anyway), so long as you are only changing the DATE, not the routing on either end. In this case, perhaps they let you switch when there were not FF seats available, which if so, was a good gesture on their part.


Carol Hill
Re: Should we go? How risky and dangerous is it? [Re: GPM] #65375
08/21/2015 02:58 PM
08/21/2015 02:58 PM
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No one can make that call but you. If you proceed it might be wise to gather some chips and drinks at your last airport and hit the market for right away for nonperishables. Don't forget a flashlight and batteries and other easy things to bring that could be helpful like backup cell phone charging with solar or a hand crank. You also might want to inquire right away where shelters are and take a drive past them. If it were going to hit, I think I would head to a shelter rather than hang in the villa Hopefully others here know where the shelters are and if tourists can go.

Re: Should we go? How risky and dangerous is it? [Re: Carol_Hill] #65376
08/21/2015 04:47 PM
08/21/2015 04:47 PM
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GPM Offline OP
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Thank you everyone. I should not have been so direct in my question. I realize no one can make the decision except my family.

Each of you, however, has taken the time to help us understand the implications of our decision by sharing your personal knowledge of hurricanes, tropical storms, and St. Martin itself. For that, we greatly appreciate your kindness and information sharing.

We have been to St. Martin twice for day stops on cruise lines. So we have minimal understanding of the beautiful island. We are/were (still not decided) so thrilled to see the island for a full week. We have only a few more hours to sweat the decision....but if you have further perspective or thoughts, we'd truly appreciate your information.

Re: Should we go? How risky and dangerous is it? [Re: GPM] #65377
08/21/2015 05:07 PM
08/21/2015 05:07 PM
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Posts: 1,105
Washington, DC/SXM
Angelface Offline
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Like Carol said, I would check with your villa owner and see what their preparations are. Like, are they going to be able to help you if they're dealing with their own mess? Most important, do they have a generator that will run the major appliances AND do they have storm shutters that can work if the power goes out? Stocking up on food and drink is key and having flashlights/battery operated lanterns is key (the villa may have that).

I honestly don't know what I would do but I do know that I would check all the above first. Good luck and keep us posted!!

Re: Should we go? How risky and dangerous is it? [Re: GPM] #65378
08/21/2015 05:16 PM
08/21/2015 05:16 PM
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SXMWendell Offline
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If it was me. Since the trip is paid for. I would wait till the day before or even the last minute to make my decision. As at the last minute you can have the latest weather report. Then if I see ALL positives in the last minute weather I would go ahead with the trip.

A not positive is if Danny is just a storm I wouldn't want to sit in my villa for 3 to 4 days because of heavy rains. Not my idea of a vacation.

SXM??? Wendell

Re: Should we go? How risky and dangerous is it? [Re: Angelface] #65379
08/21/2015 05:22 PM
08/21/2015 05:22 PM
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Posts: 76,821
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Carol_Hill Offline
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Agreed, if you are going to go, DEFINITELY see if they have a working generator, and once you arrive, stock up on essentials.

But, have you checked with the airline and with the villa to see if you can cancel with no penalty??


Carol Hill
Re: Should we go? How risky and dangerous is it? [Re: GPM] #65380
08/21/2015 06:02 PM
08/21/2015 06:02 PM
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Posts: 3,990
Vancouver, WA
Todd Offline
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I would go, if you can not cancel and reschedule I would go but note that it is the chance I would be willing to make. Chances are you will be fine based on the present predictions but it could change for the better or worse.

First thing I would do however is stock up on water and beer! Probably a bag of chips as well just in case.

I also would rent a higher ground clearance type vehicle, such as a jeep. The water along the road to and from the area you are staying from the airport can flood at times.

T


I prefer the Isle seat
Re: Should we go? How risky and dangerous is it? [Re: Todd] #65381
08/21/2015 07:49 PM
08/21/2015 07:49 PM
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PA
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If your trip was for 2 weeks or longer it wouldn't be as hard a choice. Tough decision for sure. My nephew's wife is scheduled to leave Sat. morning and she also is going for a week. She also is unsure and I'm not sure what to tell her. Good luck with your choice. Remember, there is always another time for your travel, but that won't get the money back for you. What does your traveling partner think? May help you make the best choice.

Re: Should we go? How risky and dangerous is it? [Re: biglar] #65382
08/21/2015 07:56 PM
08/21/2015 07:56 PM
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irina Offline
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You know guys, just cause there is a generator doesn't mean anything. Lot's of people are not familiar with generators or know how to work them.
Of course stock up on booze and water and food but the aftermath, even from a TS could really be bad. Trust me.
Plus, sometimes you cannot move easily without a permit or government reason.
If the restaurants are closed and trees are down and there is no electric, what does it matter if its a TS or Cat ?
Call your airline and find out what your options are and then wait and see.
Cheers
i
and yes Carol, they were FF tix and we just changed our outgoing dates.

Re: Should we go? How risky and dangerous is it? [Re: GPM] #65383
08/21/2015 08:45 PM
08/21/2015 08:45 PM
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My husband and I have a flight that leaves at 6AM tomorrow morning! The property owner of the apartment we rented on Grand Case called to warn us of the uncertainty of the weather- but we have decided to go!! I don't post much, but I'll keep the thread updated pending there's power- We do plan to stock up at the super market (beer, plenty of water and snacks) before settling in tomorrow afternoon!!! Wish us luck!!

Re: Should we go? How risky and dangerous is it? [Re: irina] #65384
08/21/2015 08:53 PM
08/21/2015 08:53 PM
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encpirate Offline
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My experience with hurricanes/ tropical storms in North Carolina is that once they pass the weather is usually great. But, that doesn't answer the questions as to damage to infrastructure, electricity, access to food, water, ice, etc. Follow the weather reports and make your decision accordingly. The money gone should really be no issue in comparison to your safety, comfort and welfare while on the island. Unfortunate that the weekend you selected has this issue arise. Would you rather be miserable at home about what you are missing or miserable about what you could be experiencing in SXM after a hurricane. Unless convinced it is going to pass over I would rather be home and visit SXM another time. Sometimes I may not receive the greatest impact directly from the storm, but another area is impacted more so and it will effect my receipt of services. That is just from my experience in NC. People at SXM know more about how hurricanes impact SXM so I am just relaying this info for you to consider. I hope that whatever you decide works out for the best for you.

Last edited by encpirate; 08/21/2015 09:14 PM.
Re: Should we go? How risky and dangerous is it? [Re: carternewman] #65385
08/21/2015 09:12 PM
08/21/2015 09:12 PM
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Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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OK, best wishes that things work out great for you! Please do keep us updated, as you are able.


Carol Hill
Re: Should we go? How risky and dangerous is it? [Re: encpirate] #65386
08/21/2015 10:09 PM
08/21/2015 10:09 PM
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Posts: 1,019
Perryman, Maryland
bdeeley Online mad
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If it was me, I'd ride the Hurricane Hunter plane in and parachute onto the island if it was necessary. Just hitch up the big girl panties and enjoy the adventure.


Facts don't Lie and sometimes the Truth Hurts!
No "nastiness", neither expressed or implied.
Suck-it-up, ButterCup!
"Stupid is as Stupid does" (Forrest Gump)
Re: Should we go? How risky and dangerous is it? [Re: bdeeley] #65387
08/22/2015 12:03 AM
08/22/2015 12:03 AM
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Posts: 1,019
Perryman, Maryland
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Danny has already been downgraded to a Category 2 hurricane and by Sunday it is expected to be downgraded to a Category 1 storm and it will still be hundreds of miles from St. Maarten


Facts don't Lie and sometimes the Truth Hurts!
No "nastiness", neither expressed or implied.
Suck-it-up, ButterCup!
"Stupid is as Stupid does" (Forrest Gump)
Re: Should we go? How risky and dangerous is it? [Re: GPM] #65388
08/22/2015 01:12 AM
08/22/2015 01:12 AM
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Posts: 52
Arizona
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azranger Offline
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Another consideration is the speed the storm is moving. Right now it is creeping along at about 10 mph. By the time it reaches the islands late Sunday and Monday it is projected to be traveling about 20 mph. This, along with the relatively small size of the storm and the projected distance from SXM when it passes to the south, should lessen the potential impacts considerably.
In 2012, we arrived in the early afternoon on Saturday just before TS Rafael passed over the island later that night. It was a large storm and we had 40-50 mph winds, lots of rain, and high surf through early Monday. We were at La Vista on the beach but had no loss of water or power. By Tuesday things were much better and there were few problems (roads and other infrastructure) on the island in the aftermath of the storm.
If you decide to go ahead with your plans I think you stand a good chance of having a decent trip in spite of the storm.
Good luck!

Re: Should we go? How risky and dangerous is it? [Re: bdeeley] #65389
08/22/2015 07:04 AM
08/22/2015 07:04 AM
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Massachusetts
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If I was making this trip my only fear would be not getting to my destination...if I knew that the storm was a couple of days out then I would be there in a heartbeat. As was mentioned there would be a few hours of ugly weather and "issues" followed by decent weather and cleanup.

Get non-perishable essentials (including water) on arrival and plan for a couple of uncomfortable days....(only the first warm beer tastes strange). I do not need a cooked meal EVERY day. Bring a battery powered light(s) (and batteries).

If someone has health issues or is unable to get around obviously this would change the situation completely. If you absolutely need AC or your lodging is in a low level flood prone area that would change things. The predicted strength of the storm would change things...while not definite, this storm seems to be weakening not strengthening. It is a game time decision....

This is what I would do and obviously not applicable to everyone....

report 6am today:

Quote
ADDITIONAL WEAKENING IS EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS AND DANNY COULD BECOME A TROPICAL STORM ON SUNDAY AS IT APPROACHES THE LOCAL REGION.

ON THE FORECAST TRACK...THE CENTER OF HURRICANE DANNY IS EXPECTED TO PASS JUST SOUTH OF ST. MAARTEN ON MONDAY.

Last edited by boucharda; 08/22/2015 07:07 AM.
Re: Should we go? How risky and dangerous is it? [Re: boucharda] #65390
08/22/2015 07:15 AM
08/22/2015 07:15 AM
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Eric_Hill Offline

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Yes, currently it is weakening and the predictions are that it will weaken to a tropical storm. It is expected that "tropical storm warnings" will be issued later today for the leeward and virgin islands.

Danny currently is just poking along, but it is expected to pick up speed later today or tomorrow. Predictions have the wind speed in 24 hours to be possibly 65 to 75 mph, which could downgrade it to a TS. A Cat 1 is 74 to 95 mph.

Also later today they are sending another aircraft out to investigate and give more precise information. The next advisory is due at 11am, but that will be before the aircraft investigation.


Eric Hill
TTOL Sponsors
Re: Should we go? How risky and dangerous is it? [Re: Eric_Hill] #65391
08/22/2015 09:59 AM
08/22/2015 09:59 AM
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East Central Florida
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The storm behind Danny needs to be watched as well. It's following a similar path but moving much faster.

Re: Should we go? How risky and dangerous is it? [Re: Marcheall] #65392
08/22/2015 11:34 AM
08/22/2015 11:34 AM
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Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Yeah, I've been kind of watching that one too..


Carol Hill
Re: Should we go? How risky and dangerous is it? [Re: Carol_Hill] #65393
08/22/2015 11:07 PM
08/22/2015 11:07 PM
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And now a third disturbance is forming near the coast of Africa. A train-like pattern is starting to develop. It took a while but the peak of the season may be about to kick into high gear.

Re: Should we go? How risky and dangerous is it? [Re: GPM] #65394
08/23/2015 08:22 AM
08/23/2015 08:22 AM
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Posts: 76,821
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Carol_Hill Offline
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GPM--you haven't been back on, so I guess that means you decided to go? Please do post an update when you return.


Carol Hill

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